Sydney. Paroled Australian drug mule Schapelle Corby is “broken,” according to her sister, who said she had to be bathed and hand fed during her time in an Indonesian prison.
The 36-year-old, whose case has been the subject of huge fascination in Australia since her 2004 arrest in Bali, was released on parole earlier this month from Kerobokan jail on the Indonesian resort island.
Australia’s Channel Seven was widely reported to have secured the first interview with her, but after Indonesian officials warned Corby could be in breach of her parole terms if it went ahead, they settled for her sister Mercedes instead.
Mercedes said Schapelle — who has always proclaimed her innocence and who has battled mental illness during her time in jail — would never be the same, in an interview that screened Sunday night.
“She is broken now,” she said of her sister, who must remain in Bali until 2017 as part of her parole conditions. ”She has had to rely on me as she has lost her strength. She was such a strong person before. She is different.”
An emotional Mercedes Corby said she had to feed, medicate and bathe her sister during her time behind bars.
“For months we had to hand-feed her. I had to stick her medicine on my finger down her throat, hold a straw to her mouth so she could drink. She couldn’t speak,” she recounted. ”They would have to carry her, she was like a zombie walking to and from her room.”
Corby, who was convicted over 4.1 kilograms of marijuana stashed in her surfing gear, had to dodge a huge media scrum on her release from prison before being driven away in a black van with Channel Seven on board.
“I just started crying because I just feel so used,” she said in the van with her face covered with a scarf, in footage aired by Seven. ”They just use me. People judge me and say I am a really bad person but look at this.
“I don’t like to judge but that’s wrong,” she said of the media throng.
Seven said no payment was involved in the interview screened Sunday night.
Corby was convicted and jailed for 20 years in 2005. The end of her sentence was brought forward to 2016 after she received several remissions for good behaviour, and a five-year cut following an appeal for clemency to the Indonesian president.